In November/December Annika & I had a chance to visit Essington School in Darwin. The opportunity came about when at the Darwin Sailing Club presentation, I got to speak about our campaign to the members before presenting gifts to our volunteers who empty the container collection trailer. In the audience was young Samuel Brownscombe who sails a Minnow. I received an e-mail the next day from Samuel asking me to visit his school.
‘Please come to the Essington School Darwin. It would be great to have everyone be conscious. I am a minnow sailor from the Darwin Sailing Club. Please Come. It would be awesome. Thanks!!!!!! Samuel Brownscombe’
So we contacted the school and through the efforts of Vice Principal Louise Hand, we managed to organise visits to several of the classes. Visiting on 4 separate days we spoke to all year 2, 3, 4 and 5 students, so approximately 360 students.
After our first visit, I received an e-mail from one of the teachers. ‘My class was so excited about your visit on Tuesday that we have dedicated our assembly item to the topic this week. We are telling the school what we learned and what we researched ourselves as well, and would be delighted if you could make it to watch!’ Mr Bannatyne 4D.
Of course I visited and saw their presentation. They had done their own research and told me of a crocodile who had been found dead with 25 plastic bags in its stomach. I didn’t make the assembly, however had a special presentation at the end of the day where several of the parents also came in to watch. The comments from the parents proved why youth are so powerful in making a change. One parent said that they have no option but to change their habit as their children won’t let them use plastic bags any more. Made me smile.
Every time I visit a school in person, I come out so inspired. The youth understand the issue and want to help our friends in the ocean. Off they go to tell their parents and friends and change their habits. We as adults need to learn to change our habits. If our children can, then surely we can.
And with just 1 day to go in 2014, our school program has now been downloaded a record amount of times. Check out these figures over the last few years.
2010 – World Record and opening of the campaign, followed by Dare to Dream book release.
2011 – 425 schools along with 420,000 users of an online around Australia game.
2012 – 1,660 schools across Australia and NZ.
2013 – 5428 schools across the world, mainly in Australia, NZ, USA and Canada
2014 – 16,328 schools across the world with significant growth in the USA.
2015 – ???? What can we achieve.